Sunak’s Rwanda Immigration Plan Passes Vote in U.K. Parliament

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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of Britain dodged a potentially dire threat to his leadership on Wednesday, preserving for now his beleaguered government’s immigration plan to put asylum seekers on one-way flights to Rwanda.

In an effort to overcome resistance from British courts, the lawmakers in Parliament voted to back legislation declaring Rwanda a safe country for asylum seekers.

But the victory, by a vote of 320 to 276, came after two tense days of debate that exposed deep divisions within Mr. Sunak’s governing Conservative Party, having prompted a rebellion Tuesday of around 60 of his lawmakers who tried unsuccessfully to toughen the legislation.

The government gained the upper hand over the rebels on Wednesday by presenting them with the stark choice of voting in favor of the bill or risking a parliamentary defeat that could have wrecked the Rwanda policy altogether and delivered a crushing blow to the prime minister at the start of an election year.

The vivid display of disunity, nevertheless, has damaged Mr. Sunak’s authority. And it raised further questions about the effectiveness of the contentious legislation, which will now be considered by the House of Lords, the unelected upper chamber of Parliament, where more opposition is expected.

Under the Rwanda scheme, which has yet to be carried out, asylum seekers who arrive on the British coast in small, often unseaworthy, inflatable boats would be sent to Rwanda to have their claims heard there. But even if they were granted refugee status they would have to stay in the African country rather than settle in Britain.

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Sunak’s Rwanda Immigration Plan Passes Vote in U.K. Parliament

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